History of Art trip to Tate Britain

On Saturday 4th March, the SFC1 History of Art class travelled to central London for a day of analysis of art and architecture. We began the day in Westminster where we started to apply what we had studied in class by analysing the wonderful Gothic façade of Westminster Abbey, the neo-Gothic Houses of Parliament and the Postmodern appearance of Portcullis House, before arriving at the patriotic, Neoclassical façade of Tate Britain. We also managed to take in A G Walker’s memorial to Emmeline Pankhurst and Auguste Rodin’s ‘The Burghers of Calais’ as we strolled along the Thames before lunch.

The afternoon was spent in Tate Britain where we were able to chart the development of British art from the early 19th century in the work of J M W Turner, through to the highly volatile climate of the 20th century. We began this intensive session with Stanley Spencer’s ambitious ‘Resurrection’, before considering how themes of gender had been explored by James Whistler and other artists at that time, and then how the genres of painting were represented more widely. 

A real highlight for me was Turner’s Gallery. The large scale of Turner’s ‘Norham Castle, Sunrise’ surprised me on first appearance and I really enjoyed being able to discuss the painting right in front of the canvas, as it broadened my understanding of what effect the artist intended to have on a viewer. The trip allowed all students to developed a deeper understanding of works studied in class and acquire knowledge of new artists, artwork and art movements that we had not heard of before.

Cecelia Thornett (SFC1)

Tate London 1